Ford Says Focus Top Global Nameplate Through First Half

Ford Motor Co. said its Focus compact kept the top global sales spot through the year’s first half as sales more than doubled in China.

The automaker, citing data from researcher R.L. Polk & Co., said global Focus registrations increased 20 percent in 2013’s first six months to 589,709. Focus sales in China surged 137 percent during the period to 202,380.

“The story is really a China and Southeast Asia-driven story,” Erich Merkle, Ford’s sales analyst, said by telephone. The Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker has reported Focus sales increases of 193 percent in Indonesia, 72 percent in the Philippines and Vietnam, and 42 percent in Thailand through the year’s first nine months, he said.

Ford has said the Focus overtook Toyota Motor Corp.’s Corolla compact last year, which the Japanese automaker disputed. Toyota, which includes Corolla derivatives such as the Matrix in its count, has said its model remains the world’s top-selling vehicle.

Ford fell less than 1 percent to $17.52 at the close in New York. The shares have surged 35 percent this year compared with a 22 percent increase for the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

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